Around Dumfries

Awe inspiring landscapes

Crystalline lochs and dramatic hillscapes await...

As you sit by the loch at Moffat Manor, gazing at the reflection of the sky in the mirror-like water and relishing the solitude, it may be hard to tear yourself away. But if you do, you’ll be rewarded with spellbinding scenery, layer upon layer of fascinating history, and some of the finest hiking trails in the UK.

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Moffat town

Expect a warm welcome

Petite museums, eclectic galleries and award-winning restaurants adorn the historic streets of this compact town. Moffat is famously Scotland’s first ‘walkers are welcome town’, and gives easy access for hiking the Southern Upland Way and the Annandale Way. Amuse the family with some putting and pedaloeing at Station Park, or notch up some wildlife spotting points at the community nature reserve. Take a moment to applaud the local gardeners whose tender care brings prize-winning gardens to businesses and homes throughout the town, then go in search of haggis at one of the local eateries.

Devil’s beef tub

A striking sight!

Imagine a giant taking a scoop out of the hillside with a giant spoon, exposing the rich grey-brown of the rock beneath the green velvety surface. That’s how the devil’s beef tub, a dramatic hollow in the hills north of Moffat, appears. It’s a 500 foot hollow formed by the meeting of four hills, and one of the main sources of the River Annan. Just a 15 minute drive from Moffat Manor, it’s worth stopping by to absorb the drama of the geology and learn more about its history.

St Mary’s Loch

Picture perfect

It might be hard to tear yourself away from the camera at this magnificent loch, surrounded by majestic hills. Swaddled by the Yarrow Valley, St Mary’s is as picturesque as they come, with its place in Scottish history adding to the atmosphere. Skirt its edges on foot or bike, see what catch you can pull out of it with your fishing rod, or explore the waters by boat. If you’re walking it, Tibbie Shiels Inn should make a good starting point.

Southern Upland Way

Conquer the hills

Snaking 214 miles from Portpatrick on the south west coast of Scotland to Cockburnspath on the eastern seaboard, the Southern Upland Way passes right through Moffat. Test out your heart rate on the slopes of this undiscovered thoroughfare, bask in the rugged surroundings, and scan the skies for peregrine falcons as you sip hot tea from a flask on a well earned break. There are also shorter stretches for families or those just after an afternoon stroll.

Grey mare’s tail

Witness nature’s power

It’s not just the UK’s 5th highest waterfall that will have you spellbound on a visit to Grey Mare’s Tail, although it is quite the spectacle. The waters cascade into a wild and wonderful valley, a treasure trove for nature lovers who can search out rare plants and wildlife such as osprey and ring ouzel. Seek out the Tail Burn Fort, an iron age earthwork thought to be a defensive or ritual site.

Caerlaverock Castle

Fairy tale appearance

Immerse yourself in the tumultuous history of Caerlaverock, which survived multiple border conflicts thanks to its impressive defences. The quintessential castle, it has a moat, gatehouses and battlements, leading to a fairy tale appearance which has repeatedly earned it a place in film sets. Discover the 17th century lodging in the castle courtyard, and try out the apps and quizzes to help you engage with tales of its war-ridden history. There’s a cafe onsite and special events throughout the year.